Scouting from Home
At the time of writing this article, the Washington state shelter-in-place order has been in place for a full month. A MONTH! Not to mention the preceding weeks where we had gathering restrictions that prohibited many of our events. It’s safe to say that we’ve all been impacted by this situation and my prayers and hopes are that we all remain safe, healthy, and we find ways to support each other.
In the world of Scouting, all our routines are gone. We’ve missed out on Scout meetings. Outings and hikes have been canceled. Gatherings have been postponed. This was especially difficult and stressful at the start of the shelter in place order. Until recently…
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve seen many of our regular Scouting activities come back to life and we’re establishing new Scouting routines with the help of digital resources. Troops are meeting on Zoom and other video conferencing systems. Many dens are back working on advancement. We’ve been holding board meetings through teleconferencing. We even had our first ever digital campout (I hope you all attended). This recent transition has been an exciting and rewarding experience and I’m inspired by all the great work.
I cannot stress enough the importance of this work. By finding ways to continue Scouting online, we give our youth (and ourselves) the opportunity to see each other – to share smiles, laughter, memories and celebrate togetherness. We also provide important learning opportunities that are fun and interesting; whether through merit badges, rank advancement, or online tours of museums or national parks. Our work to keep Scouting on gives us an uplifting break from watching the news and helps us focus on some of the things we absolutely love to do.
If your unit hasn’t meet recently, I highly encourage you to do so. And don’t over think the agenda for meeting online – a meeting to just let everyone say hello is impactful. The Scouting at Home committee has been meeting regularly and sharing ideas through Facebook and email, or check out the resources available on www.MountBakerBSA.org. If you want to brainstorm additional ideas for your unit to meet online, reach out to your unit commissioner or District Executive.
The mission of the BSA is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Every Scout meeting I know about begins or ends with reciting the Scout Oath and Law, and by doing so reminding all of us as to why we Scout. Those values don’t stop because we can’t meet and we don’t want to stop meeting because we can’t meet in person. Our work is too important for our youth and their development. Our work is too important for the health of our communities now and in the future. Our work is too important for us and the intrinsic reward we receive when helping others and doing a good turn. Reach out if you need help and #KeepCalmScoutOn.